The Darling Exceptional Women Awards took place on 20 September 2018 at an elegant, intimate luncheon at the Fairlawns Boutique Hotel.
Hosted by actress Matshepo Maleme, the awards celebrated the achievements of five exceptional women in the entertainment industry, and featured a live performance by Sho Madjozi. Guests also had the opportunity to experience a manicure by Candy & Co before the event.
You may be wondering what are Darling Exceptional Women Awards? They are a platform that recognises excellence in women, not only in the entertainment industry, but also the Mothers, Sisters, Daughters to whom they owe their crown. Many of the winners paid tribute to the strong women who had supported and inspired them – family, friends and those who had led the way. The awards recognised Best Newcomer, Social Media Influencer, Best Actress and Best Musician, and a Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to entertainment legend Thembi Mtshali.
Sho Madjozi, our home girl the Musician of the Year award. Madjozi was described as the “ultimate carefree black girl, she’s constantly referred to as a breath of fresh air and everything she touches turns into gold” said Ziya Zulu, who presented Madjozi with her Darling Exceptional Women Award. “She’s completely unintimidated, and the young star has been producing hit after hit after hit. It’s no surprise that different brands and big labels want to collaborate with her and gain her attention.” Madjozi headlined at the first ever AfroPunk festival, and has been selected to perform at the social justice music event Global Warrior, both in South Africa and in the U.S. She has spoken at TED Talks and at Facebook headquarters, and in 2015 worked on a presidential campaign in Tanzania. She is also the youngest person ever to receive a writing fellowship from the Johannesburg Institute of Advanced Studies.
Madjozi was born Maya Wegerif in Shirley Village in Limpopo. “Her humble and rural beginnings are the root of her artistry, but she’s also a global citizen. Madjozi is waking South Africa up and inspiring the youth with something they’ve never ever heard before. She introduced herself to the world as a Tsonga rapper – this alone has been a feat, as Xitsonga is a minority language that isn’t often celebrated in mainstream society. Her rise to stardom has shone new light on the ethnic group and encouraged many Tsonga people to regain pride in their heritage.” Madjozi dedicated her Darling Exceptional Women Award to “all the crazy, sometimes unlovable, stubborn women who came. before me, my own lineage. Thank you for passing down that stubbornness, so that I didn’t listen when people said, ‘no one wants to hear a Tsonga rapper’. I’m so grateful for that stubbornness.”
She encouraged South Africans to set their sights on succeeding not only locally but internationally. “Go global! Everyone’s looking at us to steal our style and our kuSwenka, and it’s time that we were also central to that,” said Madjozi. “African artists need to learn better than to let others get rich off of our creativity, our talent and our cultures.” Madjozi also inspired the audience by saying that although this was her first ever award, it would be “the first of many, because we’re just getting started. For Shirley Village, for Limpopo province, for South Africa, for Africa, for black girl magic worldwide – we’re taking this thing straight to the top!” Other women who were awarded by the Darling Exceptional Women Awards are Thembi Mtshali-Jones (Lifetime Achievement Award), Kwezi Ndlovu (The Newcomer Award), Zimkhitha Nyoka (Actress of the year Award) and Farieda Matsileng (The Social Media Influencer Award).
Source & Images: Darling Hair